TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama baseball played arguably its most complete game of the season on Saturday afternoon, taking down No. 5 Arkansas 18-5 and winning not just the game, but the series as well.
With the win, the Crimson Tide moved up to the 11-seed in next week's SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala..
Alabama put on an offensive clinic, totaling 11 hits and drawing 11 walks. In addition to the 18 runs, the Crimson Tide also left 10 runners on base.
"You know, I said this yesterday: Arkansas is one of the better teams we've played this year," Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. "I still feel that way. Obviously it wasn't their day, but to win a series against a legitimate top-10 team I think is big for us."
Arkansas led off the scoring with two runs in the top of the first, jumping out to an early lead.
On Friday evening, Alabama's six-run fifth inning was what ultimately gave the Crimson Tide the victory. In Saturday's game, though, Alabama one-upped its game with not just one, but two six-run innings as well as a five-run inning.
In the bottom of the second, the Crimson Tide recorded six runs off of three hits and one error. After adding another run in the third and Arkansas responded with a run of its own in the fourth, Alabama struck again in the bottom of the side with another six-run inning that began with a leadoff solo home run by left fielder William Hamiter.
After Crimson Tide third baseman Zane Denton hit an RBI-sac fly in the bottom of the fifth, second baseman Bryce Eblin crushed a grand slam over the left-field wall for four additional runs.
A two-run home run by Arkansas center fielder Braydon Webb in the top of the sixth marked the end of scoring for both teams, and Alabama prevailed by a final score of 18-5.
On the mound, Crimson Tide reliever Antoine Jean (4-1) was credited with the win, while Razorbacks starter Jaxon Wiggins (6-3) was saddled with the loss.
With the win, Alabama finishes the regular season with a 29-25 overall record and is 12-17 in SEC play. Arkansas falls to 38-17 overall and is 18-13 in the conference. Up next, both teams will take part in next week's SEC Tournament, with seeding still needing to be finalized.
"We talked yesterday about trying to build some momentum for Hoover — which we need — and that's what we did today," Bohannon said. "So we're excited to take a day, then catch our breath tomorrow and get over to Hoover and play in front of Bama fans and see if we can't catch some lightning in a bottle and play deep in the week."
Gallery: Alabama Baseball Bests No. 5 Arkansas
How it happened...
Final Score: Alabama 18, Arkansas 5
- Lanzilli grounded out to short. Ball Game.
- Bohrofen pinch hit for Moore, then struck out looking. Two out.
- Webb lined out to left field. One out.
- Landon Green replaces Furtado on the mound. Foggo to first base.
- Alabama leaves three runners on base, and we head to the top of the ninth.
- Foggo pinch hit for Williamson.
- Gabriel Starks takes over for Morris on the mound.
- Different inning, same story: Arkansas gets a man on base, but can't get him across the plate.
- Hunter Furtado in to replace Jean on the mound for Alabama.
- Alabama is unable to capitalize on a runner in scoring position. Inning over.
- Zack Morris replaces Pleimann on the mound.
- Nothing doing for Arkansas in the seventh.
- Portera replaces Tamez at catcher.
- Portera pinch hit for Tamez.
- Webb hit a two-run home run to left field. 18-5 Alabama.
- With the bases loaded, Eblin smashed a grand slam to left field. Four runs score. 18-3 Alabama.
- Denton flied out, Williamson tagged home. 14-3 Alabama. One out, runners on first and second.
- Miller Pleimann replaced Trest on the mound for Arkansas.
- Alabama has once again loaded the bases with no outs.
- Jean retires the side 1-2-3.
- Antoine Jean replaces Hitt on the mound for Alabama.
- Elijah Trest replaces Taylor on the mound for Arkansas.
- Hamiter singled through the left side, Eblin advanced to second, Jarvis and Denton scored. 13-3 Alabama.
- Jarvis reached on an error by the first basemen, all runners advance, Tamez scored. 11-3 Alabama.
- Denton hit by pitch, and with the bases loaded, Williamson is forced across the plate. Bases still loaded, nobody out. 10-3 Alabama.
- Evan Taylor replaced Smith on the mound.
- Tamez reached on a fielder's choice to third base. Williamson advanced to second, Pinckney scored. 9-3 Alabama.
- Hamiter hit a leadoff home run to right field. 8-3 Alabama.
- Wallace hit a one-out solo home run to left field. 7-3 Alabama.
- Eblin struck out swinging, reached first on a wild pitch. All three runners advanced, Diodati scored. 7-2 Alabama. Bases loaded, one out.
- For the second inning in a row, Arkansas leaves two runners on base.
- Hagen Smith replaced Ramage on the mound.
- Pinckney doubled to left, Rose scored. 6-2 Alabama.
- Rose advanced to third, Eblin scored on a wild pitch. 5-2 Alabama.
- Hamiter grounded out to first, all three runners advanced a base, Jarvis scored. 4-2 Alabama. Two out.
- Jaxon Wiggins is replaced on the mound by Kole Ramage for the Razorbacks.
- Eblin reached on a fielder's choice to the pitcher (SAC bunt), Jarvis to third, Diodati scored. 3-2 Alabama.
- Diodati advanced to third on a wild pitch, Tamez score. 2-2 tie.
- Diodati singled to right center, Tamez advanced to third, Williamson scored 2-1 Arkansas. Runners at the corners with nobody out for Denton.
- Arkansas gets two men on base, but Hitt gets out of the inning unscathed. Score remains 2-0 Arkansas.
- Pinckney flied out to center. Inning over.
- Hamiter struck out swinging. Two down.
- Rose grounded out to short. One out.
- Leach popped out to short. Three out.
- Turner grounded out to second. Battles advanced to second, Lanzilli to third. Two out.
- Battles singled through the left side, Lanzilli advanced to second, Moore scored. 2-0 Arkansas.
- Lanzilli singled up the middle. Moore advanced to third, Webb scored. 1-0 Arkansas.
- Moore drew a four-pitch walk, Webb advanced to second.
- Webb singled to third base.
- Wallace grounded out to short. One out.
- Hitt's first pitch is a strike, and we are underway.